Naked Angels Gives Emily Mann's Meshugah, Based on I.B. Singer, NYC Premiere May 7

News   Naked Angels Gives Emily Mann's Meshugah, Based on I.B. Singer, NYC Premiere May 7 Emily Mann's Meshugah, based on the novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer, gets its New York premiere beginning May 7 at Off-Broadway's Kirk Theatre, under the shingle of Naked Angels.

Loretta Greco directs the 1950s, New York-set play, which "paints a tragi-comic portrait of a community of recent Jewish émigrés living in the wake of World War II," according to production notes. "Centered around a love triangle among three refugees—Aaron, a middle-aged columnist for The Forward; feisty 67-year-old Max, a womanizing stock market speculator; and beautiful young Miriam whose terrifying story of Holocaust survival presents Aaron with a life-changing dilemma."

The title is Yiddish for "crazy." Opening is May 15.

The cast of Meshugah includes Barbara Andres (Cabaret; Arms and the Man, Roundabout); Ned Eisenberg (Naked Angels founding member; Hesh; Green Bird; King John, TFANA); Ben Hammer (Three Sisters, Roundabout; The Golem, MET); Ted Koch (Broadway's Death of a Salesman); Elizabeth Marvel (An American Daughter; Play Yourself and A Streetcar Named Desire, NYTW, winner of three Obie Awards).

The set design for Meshugah is by Michael Brown; costume design is by Valerie Marcus; lighting design is by James Vermeulen; sound design and music are by Robert Kaplowitz. Meshugah is produced for Naked Angels by Sherri Kotimsky.

Mann has been artistic director of McCarter Theatre in New Jersey since 1990. While there, she has directed her adaptations of The Cherry Orchard, The House of Bernarda Alba, Miss Julie and co-authored Betsey Brown. Her play, Still Life, premiered at the Goodman Theatre, and opened Off-Broadway under her direction in 1981, winning six Obie Awards, including distinguished playwriting and distinguished directing. She made her Broadway debut in 1986 as playwright and director with Execution of Justice. Other plays include Greensboro (A Requiem), which had its world premiere at McCarter in 1996, and was produced at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre; and Having Our Say, which had its world premiere at McCarter Theatre and went on to Broadway, where it was nominated for three Tony Awards, followed by a national tour. Mann also wrote the CBS adaptation of "Having Our Say," which won a 1999 Peabody Award.

Greco's directing credits include 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz's A Park in Our House (New York Theatre Workshop, McCarter Theatre) and his Two Sisters and a Piano (Public Theater, South Coast Rep); Lackawanna Blues (Public Theater); Having Our Say (Market Theatre of South Africa); Mercy (Vineyard Theatre); and Gross Indecency (Playmakers Repertory).

Naked Angels is a not-for-profit theater ensemble founded in 1986 "by a group of actors, writers, directors, designers, and producers who share the desire to strengthen their artistic life by working on projects of their own choice and design. Over the years, the company has grown into a theater where artists can make a serious commitment to the development of powerful new work in a home that celebrates artistic growth and opportunity."

Plays or movies that have been developed or premiered at Naked Angels include "You Can Count on Me" by Kenneth Lonergan; The Substance of Fire and A Fair Country by Jon Robin Baitz; Fat Men in Skirts by Nicky Silver; Aven’U Boys by Frank Pugliese; Snakebit by David Marshall Grant; and Tape by Stephen Belber.

Meshugah plays Tuesday through Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 3 PM and 8 PM; and Sunday at 7 PM. The Kirk at Theatre Row is at 410 W. 42nd Street. Tickets are $35 ($20 for students) and may be purchased by contacting(212) 279-4200 or www.ticketcentral.com.